Politics & Government

Beshear leaves appointment of economic development secretary to Bevin

Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear answered questions last month during an exit interview at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort.
Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear answered questions last month during an exit interview at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort. palcala@herald-leader.com

Gov. Steve Beshear passed up the opportunity to pick an economic development secretary before leaving office and left the decision to incoming Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear named Erik Dunnigan last month as acting secretary of the cabinet after former secretary Larry Hayes retired.

Beshear said Monday, his last day in office, that Dunnigan will remain in that role until Bevin, who is sworn into office Tuesday, picks a successor.

A committee searching for a new secretary submitted to Beshear recently the names of three finalists to replace Hayes. Hayes announced his retirement May 20 but said he would stay to help with the transition to a new leader. The names of the finalists were not made public.

Under state law, the governor chooses the secretary from the list of three names submitted by the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership’s executive committee. The partnership is the governing body of the state Economic Development Cabinet and is chaired by the governor.

Bevin can use the committee’s initial list of names or ask it to submit three new names to him. Once appointed, the secretary serves at the pleasure of the board. The annual salary for the job has been $250,000.

Bevin has touted jobs creation as a major emphasis of his administration.

Jack Brammer: 502-227-1198, @BGPolitics

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